Claus Offe

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Claus Offe (born March 16, 1940 in Berlin ) is a German sociologist and political scientist .



After studying sociology , economics and philosophy at the University of Cologne and at the Free University of Berlin , he obtained a diploma in sociology in 1965. As a student he was a member of the SDS and co-author of the SDS memorandum “University in der Demokratie” (1961).


From 1965 to 1969 he was an assistant at the Department of Sociology at the Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main with Jürgen Habermas . In 1968 he was awarded a doctorate for his work “Performance Principle and Industrial Work”. rer. pole. did his doctorate and habilitation in 1973 in the Department of Political Science at the University of Konstanz .

Offe was Professor of Political Science and Sociology from 1975 to 1988 at Bielefeld University and from 1988 to 1995 at Bremen University. In Bremen he was also head of the theory and constitution of the welfare state department at the Center for Social Policy . From 1995 until his retirement in 2005 he was Professor of Political Sociology and Social Policy at the Humboldt University in Berlin . From 2005 to 2012 he was a professor at the Hertie School of Governance Berlin.

Offe was involved in the student movement and was a founding member of both the Basic Income European Network (now Basic Income Earth Network ) and the Green Party .


Offe is influenced by Marxism , but was also part of the undogmatic wing of the student movement at the time of the student revolt. He is counted among the next generation of the Frankfurt School and has practiced a division of labor with Habermas in which Habermas has taken on the philosophical and wide-ranging social-theoretical questions, Offe the political-sociological aspects. Offe has taken up new impulses, especially from American sociology, and made them fruitful for German sociology. B. the concept of "horizontal disparities". He was the doctoral supervisor of a number of political scientists and sociologists: u. a. by Wolfgang Streeck , Helmut Wiesenthal , Peter A. Kraus , Wolfgang Merkel and Benjamin-Immanuel Hoff . In 1989 he was accepted as a full member of the Academia Europaea . In 1995 he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences .

Offe was awarded the Theodor Eschenburg Prize by the German Association for Political Science in 2012 . He accepted the award, but criticized the naming for the award. The namesake Theodor Eschenburg never distanced himself sufficiently from his actions under the Nazi regime, in which he was probably more deeply entangled than assumed.

As a critical analyst of the capitalist rationalization of labor , Offe is a controversial advocate of the unconditional basic income . He is an honorary member of the scientific advisory board of the Basic Income Network , the Basic Income Earth Network - Germany . His book Structural Problems of the Capitalist State of 1972, which was shaped by Habermas 'theses and also influenced Habermas' research, was considered important reading at the time of the student movement .

Claus Offe and civil rights activist Ulrike Poppe have been married since 2001 .

Fonts (selection)

  • Achievement principle and industrial work. Mechanisms of status distribution in work organizations of the industrial "performance society" . Frankfurt / M .: European Publishing House, 1970
  • Structural problems of the capitalist state. Essays on political sociology. Frankfurt / M .: Suhrkamp, ​​1973
  • (with others) working society. Structural problems and future prospects. Frankfurt / M .: Campus, 1984
  • The tunnel at the end of the light. Exploring the political transformation in the New East. Frankfurt / M .: Campus, 1994
  • Full employment? On the criticism of a wrongly asked question , in: Karlheinz Bentele, Bernd Reissert, Ronald Schettkat (eds.), The reform ability of industrial societies. Festschrift for Fritz W. Scharpf, Frankfurt: Campus 1995, pp. 240–249
  • (together with Susanne Angerhausen, Holger Backhaus-Maul, Thomas Olk and Martina Schiebel), overtaking without overtaking. Free welfare in East Germany. Opladen, 1998
  • Challenges of democracy. On the integration and efficiency of political institutions. Frankfurt / M., 2004
  • Introspection from a distance. Tocqueville, Weber, and Adorno in the United States. Frankfurt / M .: Suhrkamp, ​​2004
  • Structural problems of the capitalist state: essays on political sociology , revised new edition, ed. by Jens Borchert / Stephan Lessenich , Frankfurt / M., 2006
  • Trapped Europe , Berlin: Suhrkamp 2016.

Collected Writings

  • Volume 1: Power and Efficiency. Studies on the capitalist rationalization of work , Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2018.
  • Volume 2: The welfare state and its citizens , Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019.
  • Volume 3: Institutions, norms, civic virtues , Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019.
  • Volume 5: State Capacity and European Integration , Springer VS, Wiesbaden 2019.




Web links

Individual evidence

  1. The Sociology Seminar in Myliusstraße was founded in 1966/67 as a branch of the Institute for Social Research in the Senckenberganlage, which was limited to teaching .
  2. ^ Membership directory: Claus Offe. Academia Europaea, accessed on July 11, 2017 .
  3. Acceptance of the DVPW Prize ( Memento of the original from December 17, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 33 kB), Claus Offe, September 2012  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  4. report on the speech Offe ,, accessed on September 28, 2012
  5. ^ Basic Income Network, Scientific Advisory Board , as of December 31, 2012
  6. Anette Treibel: Introduction to Sociological Theories of the Present. Leske + Budrich, Opladen 2000, 5th updated and improved edition, p. 54.